The Original brief states the following:
“Design and produce a working sample of Luminaire’s that incorporate the theme of escapism. The outcomes should act as tools that connect you to a ‘dream like’ or peaceful state of mind. The designs should have the qualities that you would expect to find within existing products and activities used to escape from day-to-day reality such as books, tents, candles ,sketching or listening to music. All of these things have a commonality in that they provide comfort through stimulation of the senses or imagination.”
Keeping this element of the brief at the front of my mind at all times has proved key to producing a luminaire that remains true to the theme of escapism.I’ve tried to capture the emotional connection that exists between escapism tools and incorporate them in my concepts. The Russian doll design was one of my initial concepts and it represented escapism in its playful , fun nature but also in its sculptural form and element of surprise. In developing this concept with relation to light and usability I was also attempting to answer the statement “provide comfort through stimulation of the senses or imagination”.
“Ideally within the collection I’d like to create a feature object evoking strong aesthetic properties along with a tactile surface. As always the context and users of the designs is what will dictate their style, form material choice among other key features”.
The brief has progressed from this point because initially I had imagined that the ‘sample’ of luminaire’s would be separate entities but now that the project has led me to design a family of lamps that can in turn become individually used. I still want my family of lamps to have a strong atheistic properties but I also want them to have a strong element of usability. The mention of a tactile surface comes hand in hand with this usability element in that the materials chosen should feel interesting and comfortable in the hand of the users.
“The designs must demonstrate an awareness of light distribution and consider the user process from switching on to switching off in order to try to make it more unconventional.”
This point has proven key from the beginning of the project as the process of switching on and off has played a large part in my ideation. The design has progressed from lamps within lamps that switch each other on , to a collection on lamps that touch to charge with some remaining on untill manually switched off and some that light up when charged and remain lit until the battery dies. The quality of light will be a warm inviting glow making the object’s illuminate the surface around them but also a radius of space above. They will not be task lighting, they are ambient lighting that will give a darkened space a warm glow of light but also act as tools to escape in their interactive abilities.
“Much of my initial research has found a current lighting trend for exposing bulbs alone, I’d like to examine this trend and explore the notion of taking away the danger associated with a naked bulb.”
Having explored this trend’s design’s it seems it stems from an ongoing trend of bringing home an industrial feel. Exposed plumbing, metallic furniture and fabrics and even concrete lamps have been popular designs within this trend. I feel like the form and materials of my lamps should reflect this but I cannot warrant simply creating a design made up of exposed bulbs. I think the use of the bulbs form and the warm glow that was provided by filament lamps is missed by many and so it’s come back on trend alongside vintage/ shabby chic designs.
The notion of taking away danger from the bulb is something I’ve been trying to address continuously within my brief and I feel my family of lamps, if designed and produced well could achieve this to a good level. I aim for the lamps to be picked up,moved around and used in more than one way.
“The materials used, production process, presentation, and branding of the design collection should reflect the inspiration of escapism but also relate to current lighting, art and design trends.”
As previously discussed I want the form of my family of lamps to reflect my theme of escapism, I feel a craft like approach to the manufacture reflects an escapism activity but the materials used will also need to relate. Through using simple forms with natural materials and such as wood or ceramics the lamps will look and feel organic like forms you’d find in a forest. They will need to translate their ability to be picked up to the users and so the battery powered forms need something visually different to them that will tell the user it’s safe to pick them up and move them. It happens to be that natural materials and forms are very popular within today’s lighting market and so the theories and expectations tie neatly together.
The original brief although loose has provided me with a strong flow of inspiration and work for the first part of this design process. All of the points remain relevant but the brief is now targeted toward’s a family lamps that work as one and as individual entities instead of a collection of lamps all working separately to try to change the atmosphere of one space. Some new key points have been discussed above but in short here are the new key points that form a more defined design brief.
1. Form of the lamps should be inspired by escapism but remain simple, letting the materials and usability of the design shine.
2.The materials used should be comfortable to the touch and aim to be natural but strong such as wood and ceramics.(this also relates to the traditional elements of production used in the manufacture of Russian Dolls which inspired and pushed this design forward.)
3. Manufacture process should aim to involve an element of craftsmanship to give a feel of quality to the lamps but also to relate to escapism as an inspiration.
4. The lamps should still carry a charge from one to another with one lamp being powered from a mains voltage supply.
5. Usability of the lamps should be simple and effective.
6. A working model of the family of lamps is what will be presented at the degree show along with a visual explaining their inspiration and usability A video or collection of photographs could illustrate the design ‘s journey from a family of lamps on an individual coffee table to side lamp to bedside lamp.
7. The lamp stand that the lamps can be attached to will need to be considered with the same design principles as the lamps but should not be a design that takes up a large amount of time to create as it could be developed after the degree show for the exhibition at New Designers . The stand should blend and work with the style of the lamps but is not as important in terms of the deadline.